Dayna Shereck arrived on Nashville’s music scene a decade ago, hopeful like any other musician that she’d carve a niche for herself, and break through an already tough industry.
Those dreams became a reality: She has gained success with a collection of songs that have earned major radio rotation, while garnering a film scoring credit, and a string of accolades. All this has observers saying she may very well be in line as the next country-and-western hit-maker.
She has been a semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition for 2012, 2013, 2014, as well as a finalist in 2014. She released her first EP “Suitcase Full of Dreams” in 2015, and that year her song “Whadaya Say” appeared in the feature film “On the Wing,” starring Corbin Bernsen (“Magnum PI,” “The Punisher”). Her co-written songs have been placed on several artists’ albums, with radio play on BBC, and throughout Canada and the United States.
In 2018, she released the extended play “Chasing the Moon,” and from that came two singles, “Two Feet on the Ground,”and “Chasing the Moon,” that received impressive radio rotation. In 2020, she released the single “Hard to Forget,” again attracting wide attention.
Her single “Faster Than You Can Dream” was released in May, 2021 and became a top downloaded song in that category.
I caught up with this rising singer-songwriter by phone to see what new waves she is making.
Dave Gordon: What was the catalyst to enter the music business?
Dayna Shereck: I began to hear melodies in my head, and really needed to write the songs that seemed to be consuming me. It was something I felt compelled to do, and I quickly learned a few chords and found a way to translate what I was hearing.
I was also going through a lot personally in regards to difficulties in a relationship, and I have come to believe that the songs were almost delivered through a vessel of some sort. I wrote one of my first songs in one sitting: verse, chorus, bridge, and it was a fully intact song that ended up getting pitched throughout Nashville.
I think back and really have no idea how I did that. Through the years of writing and collaborating,
I have been a facilitator and counsellor in my work, so listening to people is something I have always gravitated towards naturally. I have a lot of interest in the human experience, with all of its wonder and difficulties.
Mr. Gordon: What is your favorite thing to write about?
Ms. Shereck: Initially it was love, and in many ways it still is. I am a great believer that our emotional experiences shape how we see our lives, good and bad. I like writing about the stuff that we might be afraid to say, or the stuff we think about to ourselves. Music is a safe place to say a lot of things, and I believe listeners can also feel their feelings in many ways through music.
Mr. Gordon: Tell me about a particular musical collaboration, and what that was like?
Ms. Shereck: My recent collaboration with writer/producer Dave Thomson was really wonderful.
We ended up co-writing my latest single Faster Than You Can Dream. The co-write itself was as they say in Nashville “a great hang,” talking about life and how this title can really apply to all of us.
This was also my first song recording my vocals from home, and getting myself familiar with music software; sending tracks back and forth to Dave in Nashville. It is probably something I would have found too daunting if I had not been forced out of my comfort zone during Covid-19.
Mr. Gordon: What attracts you to modern country music?
Ms. Shereck: At its heart modern country music is still filled with really great songwriting. There is a lot of storytelling and there is also something incredible about hearing something said in the most clever and unique way, that you just left in a bit of awe after hearing it.
Mr. Gordon: What’s next for Dayna?
Ms. Shereck: I have started working on a new full length album with producer JK Gulley. This album will explore some of the folk and Americana sounds that I have really come to love. It will be my first release in this genre, and I am excited to be collaborating and working on something different.
Dave Gordon is a freelance writer based in Toronto. His work has appeared in Epoch Times, BBC News, Washington Times, Baltimore Sun, and dozens of other media around the world.